You may wonder why this book would make it on my usual list of business book reviews. However, as I was reading it, I realized that a lot of what his parents did to bring Jake into the everyday world were points that we could all adopt.
Jake’s parents met with the experts but then changed how they raised him, counter to the advice of many of the professionals. His mother, Kristine, often referred to her gut feeling. For her it turns out, her gut guided her son on an incredible journey, leading to his admission, at 15, to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo.
This is a very brief description, and I would suggest that you read the book. However, think again about how you might solve a problem, or carry out a task. You would likely do it according to accepted practices; how other people had done the same thing before you. Why do we find ourselves again and again squashing our own thoughts and accepting that “the way it has always been done” is the best way?
Reading this book has reinforced for me the idea that the experts are not always right, and that it is okay to do something a different way. It might work, or it might not. That is not the issue. The issue is that you should be able to try.
When I started reading the book, it was simply from a point of interest generally. It was only when I was about halfway through that I realized how broad the advice was. In an interviewed I watched, Jacob talks about learning versus thinking; ie. textbook learning and going beyond what is being taught to extrapolate and come to new conclusions. You don’t do that if you are afraid to counter your previous beliefs. You can, however, if you aren’t afraid to trust your gut.
Perhaps most of us don’t have the spark but we can reignite it if we try.